Li Shan (known simply as Li, also spelled Lee; previously known as Po's father and Panda Dad) is a minor character in Kung Fu Panda 2 and the deuteragonist of Kung Fu Panda 3. He is a giant panda and the biological father of Po. He was separated from his wife and son during the massacre of his home village by Lord Shen and his wolves. He returned in Kung Fu Panda 3 where he reunites Po and take him to his current residence in a hidden village with other pandas after Shen died.
He is voiced by Fred Tatasciore in the second film and Bryan Cranston in the third film.
At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, he was also seen wearing a well-spun green cloak with tree branch patterns and brown lining. This cloak seemed to set him apart from the other pandas in the hideout, and is similar in color and style to Shifu and Oogway's jade-colored wrappings.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li is again seen in mainly green clothing, now consisting of a long green vest that has white, carpet-like tufts, and a pair of baggy green pants. He also has thin green strands across his chest, and a beige belt that holds a small pouch on his waist. He is also seen wearing a straw hat when he meets Po at the noodle shop.
Kung Fu Panda 2
|“||My son is alive!||„|
|~ Li sensing Po is still alive at the end of the second film.|
In the film, Li was first seen in one of Po's nightmares, where he and his wife told Po how they replaced him with a radish that was better at kung fu than he was.
At the very end of the film, Li was seen living in a hidden village far away from the Valley of Peace with many other pandas. He suddenly became aware of Po's existence and proclaimed, "My son is alive" while overlooking the other pandas in his village.
Kung Fu Panda 3
|“||I'm Li Shan. I'm looking for my son.||„|
|~ Li Shan arriving at Ping's noodle shop|
Po reveals that he lost his father. The crowd watches them in suspense, but the two eventually depart, neither making the connection that they're father and son, much to the exasperation of the crowd. Soon, however, they realize their mistake and embrace. When Po asks how he found him, Li explains that other Pandas survive as well in a hidden village, and that he was informed of Po's survival by a message "from the universe." Mr. Ping is skeptical of this, however, having raised Po himself since he was a baby. Nevertheless, Po decides to spend some time with Li by giving him a tour of the Jade Palace, messing around with several kung fu artifacts in the process.
Shortly after being introduced to Shifu, however, Kai's warriors arrive to attack the valley, leaving Li concerned for his son's safety. After learning more about Kai and his history with Oogway and the Pandas, the heroes decide that Po must become a Master of Chi, and Li offers to train him. The two Pandas set out for the village and are joined by Mr. Ping, who is troubled by Li Shan's return and what it could mean for his and Po's relationship. Upon reaching the village, Po is overjoyed to meet so many other Pandas, and feels that he finally knows who he is.
Li teaches his son the ways of his people, but keeps postponing the lessons for Chi. After Li has a heartfelt conversation with Po about his mother, Tigress arrives at the village and informs the Pandas of Kai's approach, and Li then admits that he has lied to Po about knowing the ancient Chi techniques of the Pandas, having been lost to them over the centuries. Furious, Po determines to face Kai and destroy him using the Wuxi Finger Hold, but is informed by Tigress that it cannot be done alone.
After a pep talk from Mr. Ping, Li Shan offers himself and the other Pandas to Po's tutelage so that he will have an army to face Kai's Jade warriors. Following some rigorous-and highly unconventional-training, Li and the Pandas face Kai's assault, and manage to disorient him by attacking his army.
While Po confronts Kai in the spirit realm, Li and the others manage to employ the Chi technique, having been inspired by Po's leadership and sacrifice. Soon enough, Po returns to the mortal realm as a Master of Chi, to everyone's awe and chagrin. Proud of their son, Li and Ping embrace Po happily.
At the end of the film, with Shen and Kai both defeated, Li and the other pandas celebrate freely among the villagers in the Valley of Peace, using the Chi manipulation technique along with everyone in attendance.
Li seems to share many similarities to Po. In the third film, Li was seen celebrating with the noodle shop patrons, who were cheering him on with his mouth full of dumplings, similar to how Po was seen with a mouth-full of bean buns in the second film. Like Po, Li is also shown to be quite oblivious in some cases. Upon meeting Po in the trailer, Li shares that he's looking for his son, and says he's sorry when Po in turn replies that he lost his father. Li wishes him luck and departs, apparently not discerning the many clues that point to Po being the long-lost son he's looking for. When he and his son went to the Hall of Warriors, he even touched and played with many of the weapons like toys similar to how Po would. Despite some of his childish traits, he does show a level of seriousness, particularly towards the loss of his wife and his protectiveness toward his son. He is also surprisingly deceptive, managing to come up with the lie he could teach Po how to use chi so he could take him to the village to safety and managed to calmly keep up the lie until Po confronted him about teaching him how to use chi.
He also loved his wife long after she died, having an altar with a small painting of her and their son and traveling so far way just to retrieve their son. He wants to protect Po, haunted by the events of the past that separated him from his family which was why he lied but Mr. Ping teaches him that no matter what Po would be his son and forgive him and what was important was that both of them be there for Po. He is very brave, having protected his family in the past and being the first alongside Mr. Ping to volunteer to help, persuading the village to as well. He even aided him against the fight with Kai and his jade zombies and was the first to mimic the chi technique he saw in the scroll and gathering the others to follow.